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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  January 12, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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>> cheryl: that will do it for us. >> dan: i'm dan ashley. we leave you with a shot of sky way. busy out on the roads ways. we'll see i again at 6:00. welcome to "world news." tonight, roaring in. a huge storm pounds the midwest. an inch of snow every, single hour. rare winter twisters tear through the south. killer controversy. new trouble for four convicted murderers set free in mississippi. our reporter goes in search of the tough-talking governor behind those controversial pardons. shrinking beauty. a plus-size revolt, as the growing gap between real women and cover girls. is a size 6 the new plus-size woman? sleepless nation. how far will you go to get the sleep you need at night? >> i don't want to have to take a pill every night to go to sleep. >> new solutions, better than pills. now to reboot your brain.
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and a beautiful mind. the young girl living in a homeless shelter, who says that is her secret to becoming a national science star. good evening. it took months to get here. but the first major winter storm has finally arrived. and it is not wasting any time. this storm has dumped more snow in chicago in an hour than the windy city has seen all season. chaos on the roads, now. and at the airports, more than 500 flights canceled and counting. and this is what it looks like. a massive winter system, bearing down on the midwest. and abc's weather editor, sam champion, is tracking the storm from chicago tonight, where it's 22 and cold. sam? >> reporter: good evening, diane. and tonight, a reminder of what winter should be. cold air and blowing snow. we say that because this time last year, chicagoland had about 22 inches of snow.
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tonight, they're bracing for their first significant snow of the season. the storm is throwing a brutal punch of winter, from colorado to kentucky, causing dangerous travel conditions and at least two deaths in iowa. in chicago, more than 500 flights were cancelled. and people are rushing to stock up on shovels and salt, for their biggest snowfall this season so far. >> we'll shovel it out, lay down the salt, and hope it all goes away by monday. that's all you can do. >> reporter: but, it's been an odd year. chicago usually receives one-third of its snowfall by this time. that's usually about 14 inches. this winter? they have barely gotten any. officially, 1.7 inches. that's because the arctic air mass that for weeks has been kept far north by the jet stream. but it's finally marching south, bringing subfreezing conditions. and with snow rates at time, more than an inch an hour,
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people here are reminded of last february, that led to a graveyard of drivers being stranded on lake shore drive. in less than 30 minutes, 3 accidents here on lakeshore drive brought traffic to a standstill. and you've got to imagine the wind is coming off the lake at that moment at about 50 miles per hour and blinding snow. 900 cars stopped and covered. today, here at snow command, they're not only tracking the weather. but their entire fleet of 300 snowplows. and with their new website, you can track them, too, right from home. >> you can go directly to an address and see where the plow is. >> reporter: another tool for those bracing for the storm. and this storm moves pretty quickly from the midwest, through the great lakes. it's out of here by tomorrow mid-morning. but it's got a mountain snow delivery for new england. about a foot of snow there starting tomorrow. diane? >> we'll start bracing here. thank you, sam. and with snow in the north, in the south, we are seeing a rare phenomenon. winter tornadoes, packing winds up to 130 miles per hour. abc's yunji de nies talked to survivors of these tornadoes, in hickory, north carolina, where one of them touched down.
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>> reporter: when eddie lane and his wife, ronda, heard the tornado howling outside, he held her in his arms. and they began to pray. >> we had nowhere else to go. it was already on top of us, tearing the trailer up. >> reporter: and wrap yourself around her. >> and wrapped myself around her. and just held on tight. >> at first, we was just going around in circles. and then we stared flipping. flipping, flipping, flipping. >> reporter: when it was all over, they crawled through the debris, bruised and bloodied, screaming for help in the dark. when the sun came up, they came back to search through what's left of their home. eddie's leg is broken. but their spirits are not. today is ronda's 41st birthday. >> even though i lost everything, i feel happy because i'm here. god blessed me for my birthday. i'm here. >> reporter: the rare january tornado tore through their house with winds of up to 130 miles an hour. it destroyed 15 other homes and damaged dozens more. how on earth do you think you survived that?
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>> the good lord up above. that's all i can say. >> reporter: and, diane, this is the exact spot where the couple landed, right between this oil tank and their kitchen stove. this is all they have left of their house. they have no insurance, like so many of their neighbors. and right now, they will rely on family to get through this tough time. diane? >> what a stunning story they told. thank you, yunji. and we turn next to the uproar in mississippi. over roughly 200 pardons issued by a tough-talking governor on his way out of office. tonight, there's a new twist. the attorney general in mississippi says he may set forth a manhunt to track down four that were set free by the governor's pardon. here's abc's steve osunsami. >> reporter: they are reeling in mississippi. and the pardon no one can forgive is david gatlin, who shot his wife dead with their son in their arms.
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he walked out of jail before the courts could step in. tonight, no one knows where he is. >> this was a cold-blooded, well thoughtout, premeditated murder. >> reporter: his wife's sister worries he's coming back to the family to finish the deed. she says governor barbour is a coward for freeing these men and then disappearing. >> he just didn't know. now, i think he didn't care. i think he doesn't care. >> reporter: it's now clear that gatlin and three other convicted murderers were given a get out of jail free card because they worked in the governor's kitchen and washed his cars. today, lawmakers here are searching for ways to block the 4 pardons of those convicted murderers, as well as the nearly 200 other pardons barbour issued on his way out of office. >> the public just doesn't get it. i don't get it, either. haley's done a lot of great things. but i'm afraid, in the large measure, this will tarnish his image, as he goes forward. >> when you're a fat redneck like me and have an accent like mine, you can say, they're going
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to hold me to a higher standard. >> reporter: governor barbour has never been shy. a tough on crime crusader, never afraid to speak his mind, until now. we went looking for the governor at his new law enforcement, trying to get an answer for the frightened families, crying for a reasonable explanation. instead, we were shown the door. >> leave now or i'm going to call the police. >> reporter: have you seen haley barbour here? >> get out. >> reporter: in a brief written statement last night, he said about 90% of these individuals were no longer in custody. and a majority of them had been out for years. but not so for the murderers who worked at the governor's mansion. they were in for life. steve osunsami, abc news, jackson. now, we have a bright note for anyone looking to buy or refinance a home. mortgage rates hit a record low today. the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.89%, the lowest rate since 1971. and the rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is now down to 3.16%. we turn, next, to the fallout from that disturbing video, showing u.s. marines desecrating the bodies of their
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taliban enemies. we learned today who these americans are and when this reportedly happened. and voices from all sides are speaking out about what should happen next. abc's martha raddatz has been looking into this all day. martha? >> reporter: diane, the pentagon has spent all day trying to find out who these marines are, where they're from. and tonight, success. the marine corps has now identified these four marines as part of the 3rd battalion 2nd marines from camp lejeune, north carolina. they have names of two of the marines and are looking for i.d.s on the others. these are not just any marines. they are elite, highly-trained scout snipers. the four are seen not only urinating on dead, bloodied insurgents. but one is heard saying, have a great day, buddy. u.s. officials today condemned the tape. with secretary of defense leon panetta saying, i have seen the footage.
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and i find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable. >> anyone found to have participated or known about it, having engaged in such conduct, must be held fully accountable. >> reporter: the marines could face charges of bringing discredit to the armed forces and lengthy prison sentences. the video is also reminiscent of the 2004 torture scandal at abu ghraib prison in iraq, which caused worldwide outrage. as to these marine corps tapes, the taliban called the images shocking. but said, it will not affect peace talks, which were just made public today but had been going on for a year. martha raddatz, abc news, the pentagon. and we have a landmark, new study to tell you about tonight. with republican front-runner mitt romney so much in the news, that study shines a light on his mormon faith. mormons make up about 2% of all adults in america. and a pew research study found most mormons, 68%, say other
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americans don't see them as a part of american society. still, a majority, 56% say the country is ready for a mormon president. so, abc's terry moran set out today to take a look at the questions behind those numbers. >> reporter: from hbo's "big love" on television. >> and offer thanks for the blessings bestowed. >> reporter: to mitt romney on the campaign trail. >> tonight, we make history. >> reporter: to the smash hit, "the book of mormon" on broadway. ♪ i am a mormon >> reporter: america is having a mormon moment. from the founding of their faith in the 1820s, mormons have been a focus of controversy and prejudice. the new survey of mormons reveals that 62% of mormons say their fellow americans are uninformed about mormons. nearly half say mormons face a lot of discrimination. for america's largest homegrown
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religion, this could be a moment to change that. you feel at home in america, in the american religious life? >> i do. >> reporter: david buckner is a mormon, father of five, business consultant and head of the mormon church in manhattan. what do you say to people in america, who don't know a lot about your faith? and say, it's not christianity? >> you hear it in the media. you hear a lot of people inquiring, are you a christian? and i simply say, we follow christ. we have his name at the center of who we are. pretty much makes us christian. >> reporter: and what about those worship practices? temples off-limits to outsiders, where secret ceremonies are performed? >> even though it says visitors welcome on the front door, right? >> reporter: the temples are for a few special ceremonies like marriages. like so many, he is proud of his faith, even as it stands apart. do you think that your faith is accepted as mainstream american
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religious practice by the rest of america? >> there is no quest to become more accepted or a quest to become more mainstream, as much as there is a quest to embrace more, to invite more, to bring more in. >> reporter: terry moran, abc news, new york. and still ahead on "world news," the dramatic change we learned about america's new cover girls. further from real girls than ever before. training your brain to help you get to sleep. changes that work even better than pills. and the teenager living in a homeless shelter, teaching about resilience. she found a way to become a national science star. have i got a surprise for you! a mouthwatering combination of ingredients... i know you're gonna love. [ barks ] yes, it's beneful healthy fiesta. made with wholesome grains, real chicken, even accents of tomato and avocado.
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i thought they were shocking. i thought they were going to cause some controversy. >> reporter: "plus-model" magazine says standard fashion models have gotten so tiny, the supermodels of 20 years ago, christie brinkley, cindy crawford, beverly johnson, would be plus-size models today. at the height of your career, what size were you wearing? >> i was wearing between a 4 and a 6. >> reporter: would you be surprised to know that today, you would be considered a plus-sized model? >> i would not be surprised at all. >> reporter: even as the average american woman is getting bigger, models continue to shrink. 20 years ago, the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. today, she weighs 23% less. >> this is the real life. i don't think that people realize how much fashion and models and ad campaigns and weight loss ads does to the woman's self-esteem. >> my daughter is a plus-sized model. and she's one of my heroes.
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we need to embrace our bodies and love our bodies as they are. >> reporter: while the fashion industry continues to praise skinny, these photos are proof that the conversation between mothers and daughters, advertisers and designers may need to expand. linsey davis, abc news, new york. and still ahead, can being forced to stay awake cure sleeping problems for good? new solutions for getting to sleep without pills. [ male announcer ] what if that hemorrhoid pain is non-stop to seattle?
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and now, "healthy living," and our series on the hidden epidemic. so many americans have trouble trying to get to sleep. and it is a problem especially for women. a stunning statistic. up to six in ten women regularly suffer insomnia. tonight, some treatments, better than pills. here's abc's claire shipman. >> i'm still tired. >> reporter: millions of women at a crossroads every night. making a choice to take a sleeping pill or battle it through. >> really don't want to take some medication. >> reporter: hoping to find some rest. >> i have to take a pill every night to go to sleep. >> reporter: so, when was your last good night of sleep? >> probably about a month ago. >> reporter: a month ago. >> with the help of this one right here. >> reporter: monique mclaughlin, desperate, is rolling the dice one more time, spending an uncomfortable night at the upenn sleep lab. >> it's not too bad. >> reporter: okay. she's awake here. >> this is unremitting wake. >> reporter: almost 30% of american women taking sleeping pills at least a few nights a
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week. but it turns out there is another way, cognitive sleep therapy. changing your brain and behavior. new research shows, in the long run, it's more effective than those pills. >> when you stop the medication, you don't maintain those clinical gains. the gain is over. >> reporter: three things you can start tonight. first, tame your anxiety. write down those worries for tomorrow, so they won't keep you awake tonight. second, restrict your sleep. it improves the quality. and you've heard it before. but use the bedroom for sleep only. no tv and phone. doctors say techniques like these and working with a sleep therapist can get you rest. ask debbie hamilton. >> and in the first two weeks, my life changed. it was brilliant. >> reporter: in australia, one pioneering treatment is being studied, extreme sleep deprivation. it's counterintuitive. but for 24 hours, you're in a windowless room. doctors won't let you sleep for more than five minutes at a
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time, exhausting you, to remind your brain that sleep is your friend. the results are astounding. sleeplessness decreased by 50%. >> it's a very different treatment. i call it similar to waterboarding. >> reporter: experimental for now. but a possible glimmer of hope for millions, still longing for sleep to become more than a dream. claire shipman, abc news, philadelphia. and when we return, an inspiring teenager. even living in a homeless shelter, she found a way to become a national science star. you know, typical alarm clock. i am so glad to get rid of it. just to be able to wake up in the morning on your own. that's a big accomplishment to me. i don't know how much money i need. but i know that whatever i have that's what i'm going to live within. ♪ ♪
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and finally, a young woman we thought you just had to meet. she is a teenager. she is homeless. a situation that would grind almost anyone down. but she has found a way to use what happened to her as a source of motivation, a kind of rocket fuel. and now, an amazing achievement. here's abc's dan harris. >> reporter: samantha garvey is a 17-year-old who would rather read something called "the journal of shellfish research," than "glamour" magazine. >> i get so excited to tell people about muscles and crabs that i become a completely different person. >> reporter: outside of muscles and crabs, you're listening to
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katy perry and dancing around? >> yeah. party animal. >> reporter: is that true? no. what is true, is that this upbeat, 4'11", dynamo, was just named as a semifinalist in the prestigious intel science competition. her research on shellfish blowing the judges away. and she did that by overcoming this. >> most recently, we were evicted from our home. and we're currently living in a homeless shelter. >> reporter: samantha, her two younger siblings and their parents, a nurse and a taxi driver, were forced to give up their home, and even their family pet, when the bills became too much. and it wasn't the first time. >> it hurts leaving everything behind and just having to be rushed out of your home. your home, you know? it's just -- >> reporter: not your home anymore. >> yeah. basically. you don't have a home. >> reporter: but what she does have is grit. without even a desk on which to do her homework. you have nearly a 4.0 gpa. you're number four in your class.
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how do you do that with all of the stress you have outside of school? >> i don't even know, to be honest. i want to do better for myself. you know? i want a better life. so, that's why i try so hard. that's why i work so hard. >> reporter: if she wins an award of $100,000 will be hers. there are so many kids in this country right now who, through no fault of their own, find themselves homeless. >> yes. >> reporter: what would you say to them? >> that i totally know where you're coming from. i'm right there with you. and i hope things get better because they do. >> reporter: a lesson from a young woman who is the american dream personified. dan harris, abc news, brentwood, new york. >> and here's to samantha. and we thank all of you for watching. we're always there at abcnews.com. and don't forget, of course, "nightline," will be along later. and we will see you right back here again tomorrow night. until then, good night.
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. tonight the bank robbery get away that forced the closure of a busy highway. >> call for a sheriff to resign over domestic violence accusation. the surprise uncover
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appearance of his wife. redbox video rentals facing a discrimination sued. more law enforcement agencies are using scanning technology to look for stolen vehicles. vehicles. privacy experts have concerns. closed captioning by closed captioning services,inc there are a lot of anxious city workers in oakland tonight. >> they just got word that hundreds of pink slips going out next week. >> laura anthony joins us from oakland city hall. >> reporter: we've learned in the last hour, the number of lay-off notices that will go out next with book, 1500 plus. when they start going out next week there is the largest number of lay-off notices to go out in the city at

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